After devoting his first New York campaign trip to Donald Trump and Fashion Week fetes, 2012 presidential hopeful Rick Perry is getting down to business this time around.
Perry is back in Manhattan this week, courting voters in the city’s large Hispanic and Jewish communities — two typically Democratic voting blocs that the GOP hopes to woo away in 2012.
The Texas Governor is hosting a rally with Israeli politicians and Jewish-American activists at the W Hotel tomorrow morning. The event is centered around President Obama’s visit to the United Nations and the Palestinian application for statehood, expected to be submitted to the General Assembly this week.
The Jerusalem Post reports that members of Israel’s Likud Party will be at the press conference, and plan to ask Perry to support an initiative to annex the West Bank in response to the Palestinian bid for statehood.
Seeing an opening to win over Jewish conservatives after last week’s special election in New York, Perry has spent the past few days highlighting his opposition to Obama’s Israel’s policies at an open media event tomorrow morning.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Friday, he called on the administration to exercise its veto to reject the Palestinian bid.
“Errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take backward steps away from peace. It was a mistake to call for an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks,” Perry wrote. “Palestinian leaders have perceived this as a weakening of relations between Israel and the U.S, and they are trying to exploit it. In taking this destabilizing action in the U.N., the Palestinians are signaling that they have no interest in a two-state solution.”
While in New York, Perry hammer home this message to the city’s wealthy Jewish Republicans at three fundraisers hosted and attended by several major activists in the Orthodox Jewish community.
Perry is also reaching out to the Latino community, travelling to Inwood today to meet with about 100 Latino business leaders, including Dominican activist and Bush bundler Fernando Mateo, head of the New York State Federation of Taxi Drivers, according to 1010 WINS.
Of course, no political event can go down in upper Manhattan without an appearance from the district’s theatrical congressman, Democrat Charlie Rangel. Politico’s Ben Smith reports that Rangel gatecrashed Perry’s meeting, telling reporters that “Republicans have a problem with their candidates.”
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.:
The New York Times reports that the Inwood event raised about $50,000 for Perry’s campaign.
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